Sir Peter Tapsell RIP

NZ Herald

Sir Peter Tapsell has died:

Sir Peter Tapsell, 82, the first Maori Speaker of the House, died in his sleep at his Ruatoria farm last night.

Sir Peter entered Parliament as a Labour MP in 1981 and remained until 1996.

He was born and lived in Rotorua for much of his life.

He help the internal affairs, arts, police and defence portfolios during his career.

Sir Peter was the first Maori speaker of the House from 1993 to 1996. He was the first member of an opposition party to serve as a speaker.

He worked as an orthopaedic surgeon before becoming and MP.


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    R I P..A Loss for the country

  • Kiwidon

    A real gentleman. R.I.P.

  • Wendy Fowler

    Remembered with respect and affection –

  • Kimbo

    I remember Sir Peter about 25 or so years ago, in the face of radical Maori protest and dis-satisfaction, invting his people to consider the process of colonisation from another perspective: how much they had gained, and how beneficial the relationship with Pakeha had been since 1840, and who were, like Maori, despite their faults, essentially a people of good faith.

    Not a particularly “sexy” perspective in the era of Hone and the Mana Party, but one that is still of long-term benefit to us all.

    • Troy

      I can’t image Hone will even get within a whisker of the mana Peter Tapsell held across all communities and races.  He demonstrated the one quality that Hone doesn’t have the ability to do most of the time and that’s to listen.  Hone is much more interested in dividing rather than combining.  Peter Tapsell had the extraordinary ability to bring people together, pity Hone didn’t read up on this nor observe this in the past – he might have learnt a valuable lesson or two.

  • jay cee

    a real gentleman,well respected. RIP sir peter.

  • Davewin

    A gentleman of the old school, who will be sadly missed by the sane members of our community who know our strengths are found by workin together and not pulling apart. RIP Sir Peter, a giant has fallen in the forest of Tane.

  • Greg M

    Go in peace Sir, your work for all of us will not be forgotten.
    Kia Ora Peter.

  • David Garrett

    I cannot but agree with everyone else. Sir Peter was speaker – as the piece notes, the first time an opposition MP had been speaker – at a time when I was very involved in (Labour) politics. I recall the universal acclaim in which he was held by all parties (which then meant the big two and Social Credit)…as I recall there was never any serious suggestion that he was ever other than scrupulously fair.  When you think of some of the  non-enitities who have held that post since, he surely was a giant among men. Condolences to his whanau.

  • Blair Mulholland

    Haere Ra Sir Peter

  • Rotcod

    I was working at Parliament when Sir Peter was Speaker.  He was as everyone has said an old school gentleman.  He also had a twinkle in his eye and a smile for everyone.

  • Richard McGrath

    Peter Tapsell seemed like a decent bloke. Wouldn’t be many pipe smokers among the current lot of MPs.